Our Brotherhood

We all maintain some daily trivial service unto man.
We all have possibilities. We all have tried to plan
Some delicate creation. The firm handiwork of will
May assist in its formation, though perchance the artist's skill
Has proved too insufficient to achieve Desire's height.
Our confidence has been too vast, we overreached our might,
We all have dreams unrealized, we all have known the cost
Of prizes won and heights o'ercome, of honours well attained
In places where we should have stood — fate failed us, others gained.
O! Failure, may we not escape thy black, remorseless wing
That clouds the sunlight of success, our work o'ershadowing?
Why doom to wreck Ambition's barque before it fairly sailed
From ideal shores to ideal lands? Who has not tried — and failed?
We all have wakened once, to know the cold and biting truth
That empty is the darling hope we nurtured in our youth.
We all would live in every line with close-shut eyes, and yet
We all can see the fair design is shadowed by — Regret.
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